Grain for weaned calves

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randiliana

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We just feed whole oats. Start out with a pound or so per head (so the 1 pig doesn't kill itself when it eats everyone elses oats) and slowly work our way up to about 10 lbs.
 
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Rockin' J Longhorns

Rockin' J Longhorns

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randiliana":3827pnd7 said:
We just feed whole oats. Start out with a pound or so per head (so the 1 pig doesn't kill itself when it eats everyone elses oats) and slowly work our way up to about 10 lbs.

Thank you, randiliana. :)
 

novaman

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Rockin' J Longhorns":xxemzame said:
novaman":xxemzame said:
I use a mix of barley and corn with a good amount of molasses in it.

Thanks, Novaman. What is the percentage of the mix?
I don't have a set percentage that I go from. It varies depending on availibility and price. I suppose 50/50 but it also depends on how careful you are when feeding. Barley tends to be a bit more touchy then corn when it comes to bloat. Now Randiliana suggested using oats. Oats is very safe because the chances of bloat are much less. However, oats doesn't supply nearly as much energy as either barley or corn. I guess my concern would be trying to get calves onto feed first and foremost. The second concern is giving them enough energy to keep them from going downhill. If you can take care of that it doesn't much matter what they are being fed. The reason i use molasses is to encourage them to eat the feed.
 
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Rockin' J Longhorns

Rockin' J Longhorns

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novaman":25i9vrka said:
Rockin' J Longhorns":25i9vrka said:
novaman":25i9vrka said:
I use a mix of barley and corn with a good amount of molasses in it.

Thanks, Novaman. What is the percentage of the mix?
I don't have a set percentage that I go from. It varies depending on availibility and price. I suppose 50/50 but it also depends on how careful you are when feeding. Barley tends to be a bit more touchy then corn when it comes to bloat. Now Randiliana suggested using oats. Oats is very safe because the chances of bloat are much less. However, oats doesn't supply nearly as much energy as either barley or corn. I guess my concern would be trying to get calves onto feed first and foremost. The second concern is giving them enough energy to keep them from going downhill. If you can take care of that it doesn't much matter what they are being fed. The reason i use molasses is to encourage them to eat the feed.

Thank you, Novaman. What do you think of a corn, oat and molasses mix?
 

randiliana

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novaman":3tsnp5yh said:
I don't have a set percentage that I go from. It varies depending on availibility and price. I suppose 50/50 but it also depends on how careful you are when feeding. Barley tends to be a bit more touchy then corn when it comes to bloat. Now Randiliana suggested using oats. Oats is very safe because the chances of bloat are much less. However, oats doesn't supply nearly as much energy as either barley or corn. I guess my concern would be trying to get calves onto feed first and foremost. The second concern is giving them enough energy to keep them from going downhill. If you can take care of that it doesn't much matter what they are being fed. The reason i use molasses is to encourage them to eat the feed.

That is correct, there is a much smaller chance of having an animal bloat or losing an animal with oats although it can happen. They are lower energy. Barley is good also, and it and oats are the most common feed grains around here. Barley is touchy and you will have to be more cautious when introducing it into a ration. As for the energy, I guess it depends on how much growth you want. For us oats work, we only need the heifers to gain about 2 lbs/day, if we wanted to finish them we would be using barley. But oats is safer so we use it.
 

msscamp

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Rockin' J Longhorns":1a14oc49 said:
What is the best grain mix for calves that have just been weaned?

This is going to sound like a smartass answer (and I apologize for that), but I'm very serious - the best initial grain mix is one that they will eat. Most calves learn to eat solid food by either mimicking their mothers, or by having grain forcibly placed in their mouths if they are bucket calves. It is far easier, and more natural for them to eat what is familiar. Yes, molasses can help to get them to eat something different - but I've seen it fail as often as it works. Your best bet would be to feed them what you fed their mothers, and introduce new grain slowly. In the event you don't feed grain to your cows, you might think about using a receiver ration that is formulated to entice weaned calves to eat until they transition to the grain. We use AS70 by Hubbard Feeds, but I'm sure there are others out there as well. As far as what grain is better, that is going to depend on your area, conditions, breed and ease of conversion of feed, overall ration, availability of grain, cost of that grain as compared to others, individual operation, and your intended use for these calves. I hope this helps.
 
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Rockin' J Longhorns

Rockin' J Longhorns

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msscamp":3no39d38 said:
Rockin' J Longhorns":3no39d38 said:
What is the best grain mix for calves that have just been weaned?

This is going to sound like a smartass answer (and I apologize for that), but I'm very serious - the best initial grain mix is one that they will eat. Most calves learn to eat solid food by either mimicking their mothers, or by having grain forcibly placed in their mouths if they are bucket calves. It is far easier, and more natural for them to eat what is familiar. Yes, molasses can help to get them to eat something different - but I've seen it fail as often as it works. Your best bet would be to feed them what you fed their mothers, and introduce new grain slowly. In the event you don't feed grain to your cows, you might think about using a receiver ration that is formulated to entice weaned calves to eat until they transition to the grain. We use AS70 by Hubbard Feeds, but I'm sure there are others out there as well. As far as what grain is better, that is going to depend on your area, conditions, breed and ease of conversion of feed, overall ration, availability of grain, cost of that grain as compared to others, individual operation, and your intended use for these calves. I hope this helps.

Thank you so much. :)
 

msscamp

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Rockin' J Longhorns":3dcfghat said:
msscamp":3dcfghat said:
Rockin' J Longhorns":3dcfghat said:
What is the best grain mix for calves that have just been weaned?

This is going to sound like a smartass answer (and I apologize for that), but I'm very serious - the best initial grain mix is one that they will eat. Most calves learn to eat solid food by either mimicking their mothers, or by having grain forcibly placed in their mouths if they are bucket calves. It is far easier, and more natural for them to eat what is familiar. Yes, molasses can help to get them to eat something different - but I've seen it fail as often as it works. Your best bet would be to feed them what you fed their mothers, and introduce new grain slowly. In the event you don't feed grain to your cows, you might think about using a receiver ration that is formulated to entice weaned calves to eat until they transition to the grain. We use AS70 by Hubbard Feeds, but I'm sure there are others out there as well. As far as what grain is better, that is going to depend on your area, conditions, breed and ease of conversion of feed, overall ration, availability of grain, cost of that grain as compared to others, individual operation, and your intended use for these calves. I hope this helps.

Thank you so much. :)

You're welcome! :)
 

rk

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msscamp":1svfvem7 said:
Rockin' J Longhorns":1svfvem7 said:
What is the best grain mix for calves that have just been weaned?

This is going to sound like a smartass answer (and I apologize for that), but I'm very serious - the best initial grain mix is one that they will eat. Most calves learn to eat solid food by either mimicking their mothers, or by having grain forcibly placed in their mouths if they are bucket calves. It is far easier, and more natural for them to eat what is familiar. Yes, molasses can help to get them to eat something different - but I've seen it fail as often as it works. Your best bet would be to feed them what you fed their mothers, and introduce new grain slowly. In the event you don't feed grain to your cows, you might think about using a receiver ration that is formulated to entice weaned calves to eat until they transition to the grain. We use AS70 by Hubbard Feeds, but I'm sure there are others out there as well. As far as what grain is better, that is going to depend on your area, conditions, breed and ease of conversion of feed, overall ration, availability of grain, cost of that grain as compared to others, individual operation, and your intended use for these calves. I hope this helps.
Pretty good answer!......Palatability and getting calves on feed and intake up early on is big part of the battle. Do this and you just won't see as many of the stress-related sickness problems as when they walk and bawl too long before they start eating. Backing off on the grain somewhat and getting some good quality roughage in the diet will help prevent bloat, scours, etc. Good trace minerals pretty important for purposes of immune response, etc. Some folks may have some good mixes, but good palatable receiving rations sometimes easier to use to address these issues with. MHO.
 

Stocker Steve

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Rockin' J Longhorns":159a97nc said:
What is the best grain mix for calves that have just been weaned?

Depends on size and weather... We usually use a corn base, some oats or soy depending on the hay quality and size, and about 5% molasses. I also usually buy a sack of calf starter to sprinkle on the top for a couple days. They really go for the calf starter but it is expensive.

I have also tried using a cob corn base. They only do about 2.5# per day but if some get over fed there is not a health problem.
 

SHF

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Rockin J, don't be shy with the grain when they are first weaned. Calves rarely eat enough when they are first weaned to hurt themselves. Lots of good advice already given by the others. Only thing I could add is our guideline of how much to feed to backgrounding calves once they are eating well. Good to feed about 1% of their bodyweight in grain per day, i.e. 600 lb calf gets 6 lbs of grain per day. Not too scientific but a good rule of thumb. Good luck.
 

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